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Old 04-07-2016, 06:04 AM   #883
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I might have to give this issue more thought. I considered mounting the frying pan (which is 19 inches from rim to the end of the handle - almost as long as the Interstate's aisle is wide) on the side of the fresh water tank using sticky hooks. However it's rather dirty down there by the floor, plus I have a telescoping handle broom that I want to mount there instead. So far I have not seen fit to buy a portable vacuum, but I depend heavily on that broom so it must be well-accommodated.

On top of the fresh water tank is very valuable space because of the sheer size of its footprint, so I want to reserve that for other flat-but-long things.

Maybe there is somewhere else that hasn't yet occurred to me.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:48 AM   #884
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I use that flat area on top of the water tank for an assortment of plastic bags, inside one large bag, also for a couple of extra towels...think wet dog ....also in a large plastic bag.

The area over our burners is steel, and will take a magnetic hook.

That might be a great place when parked for an otherwise un-housed cooking item...such as a skillet.


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Old 04-07-2016, 10:45 PM   #885
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Hmmm-- I thought our 19' Bambi would have more storage space than an Interstate, but maybe not. I would love to have a big pot to properly cook pasta, but just don't have the room for it. Plus, with my cast iron & Le Creuset, there was a big issue of them falling on my head while in the overhead bin. I just moved the pots to the drawer under the dinette bench, figuring that the dish towels, paper plates, rags, &c that I stored there & moved to the overhead bin would still fall on my head, but softly, at least.

We got a collapsible cone for drip coffee from REI and have been very happy with it. https://www.rei.com/product/798277/g...p-coffee-maker But that's a little different than cooking directly on a metal & silicone pot bottom, and handling a collapsible pot loaded with boiling food.

Backpacker stoves come with a lot of different heat levels, and the old 2-burner Coleman stove-in-a-box is similar to a propane stove top. Probably somebody at REI has checked them out.

I'd still like to know how well the pot works, if anyone tries it.

I just checked the REI website to see if it had gotten any customer reviews, and someone posted this from the manufacturer:

"We do recommend only "cooking/heating" liquid items in the X-pots. So, boiling water, pasta, soups, these types of meals that are a majority liquid are able to disperse the heat properly. We do not recommend frying items in the pot. We do make an X-Pan, which is our version of a frying pan, this would be best for frying up tortillas ... or other items that wouldn't have the proper amount of liquid associated to disperse the heat. Many of the lid issues are a result from folks attaching the "Tabs" to the lid while cooking. The pot itself will expand and contract throughout the heating and cooling process. When the "tabs" are connected this causes the lid to bend and flex along with the pot. The results of this flexing can crack the lid or deform the supportive ring at the top of the pot. Leaving these "tabs" open during heating greatly reduces the flexing that can damage the lid or deform the ring."

One reviewer had the silicon and metal separate while cooking and another said that water took forever to boil in it.

Ummm, seems like it would take a bit of getting used to.
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:22 AM   #886
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Heavy items like the cast iron and Le Creuset pots should go as low as possible, preferably not in any drawer IMO. Our stuff like this lives low in the tow vehicle until needed. The trailer shower [ or bath floor for those without a stall shower ] is another possible location, as long as the floor is padded, and full of other items to prevent sliding around on the road.
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:07 AM   #887
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Ditto on storing heavy items in lower cabinets....items shift in transit, and anything you could be injured by in falling should not be in upper storage areas.

Tho we tend to gravitate in our rigs toward the same quality of cookware that we like at home, the inexpensive spackle ware from WalMart that I keep for the occasional corn on the cob takes up considerably less space than the heavy, more expensive pots.

I lay that pot on its side and tuck my two saucepans inside of it, moving the handles upright to keep them out of the way.

We tend to find space for things we really want to have with us.

I carry more clothing than I need....also more cookware, liking choices.


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Old 04-08-2016, 05:55 AM   #888
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Stowing heavy items low also keeps the center of gravity low, like a clock pendulum has the weight at the bottom, in order to minimize top-heavy vehicle body action on the road.
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:27 AM   #889
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Stowing heavy items low also keeps the center of gravity low, like a clock pendulum has the weight at the bottom, in order to minimize top-heavy vehicle body action on the road.
In an Interstate in particular, the heaviest things you will take on your trip are people. Compared to the weight of even one person, the weight of your all of your cookware put together is trivial and will not significantly affect the center of gravity of a four-ton GVWR (T1N Sprinter 2500) or five-ton GVWR (NCV3 Sprinter 3500) vehicle. My Interstate has a GVWR of 11,030 pounds, so even 100 pounds of cookware and groceries is still less than 1% of the GVWR.

The best reasons for stowing heavy things low are:
1 - overhead cabinets aren't necessarily designed to hold heavy weight. Wood is very strong in compression and very weak in tension. If you overload the overhead cabinets you can damage them especially if you drive on bumpy roads like in Louisiana so that the cabinet contents bounce;
2 - ergonomically, the less weight you have to lift above shoulder height the easier it is on your back and shoulders. Muscle strain will make your trip a lot less fun;
3 - if a load shifts so that things fall out when you open an overhead locker, the less weight that can land on your head, the better. In an ideal world, everything in the overhead cabinets would be clothing and bedding that is all soft and fluffy and won't injure you at all if it falls, but life is seldom that perfect.
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:33 AM   #890
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..... I would love to have a big pot to properly cook pasta, but just don't have the room for it. ......
Having an Interstate reminds me of having a newborn baby. Prior to labor and delivery, I had all these perfect-world visions of how new motherhood was going to unfold. It involved a lot of nice baby clothes and tender, serene moments of relaxed sharing and getting to know each other with infinite time available.

Then the baby came flying out and the rest of my life hit the fan with equal gusto. Fancy baby outfits proved to be too much overhead and never made it out of the closet. She spent the first four months of her life wearing diapers and nothing else (which, as it turns out, is standard operating procedure here in the subtropics) as I struggled to respond to her round-the-clock needs plus the chaos of all of my life's other responsibilities, on three to five hours of sleep each day.

I initially had analogous visions with the Interstate, and ended up saying screw all that! for the same reasons - too much overhead. To the extent possible, Suzie Homemaker got tossed out the flap window and I don't cook pasta or much of anything else in our Interstate. I cook it at home, place it in gallon-sized freezer bags and pack it into the refrigerator for take-with. Same with rice. That's why I have the pot-frying pan combo. Pastas and rices get re-warmed in the frying pan, while sauces and stews go in the pot beside it - it couldn't be easier. Our microwave has become a politically-incorrect shrine to wanton consumer culture - the ultimate repository for disposable plates, utensils, and bowls. To heck with the nice Corelle dishes I bought - it's just too much work to have to wash that stuff when dealing with high-mileage travel, most of which involves boondocking.

FWIW.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:08 AM   #891
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So true, IB, tho once you are retired and traveling for more extended periods you will find that your tiny freezer won't cover your trip.....and you will cook pasta, rice, etc.,.....inside or outside.

Tho I don't use it often these days, we bought a few years ago a one-burner butane cooktop, which is great for cooking outside when temps or boondocking make cooking inside not feasible.

I posted that here some time back.....$25 or so, very compact.


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Old 04-08-2016, 07:48 AM   #892
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So true, IB, tho once you are retired and traveling for more extended periods you will find that your tiny freezer won't cover your trip.....and you will cook pasta, rice, etc.,.....inside or outside.
...

Maggie
On our last trip, which was our longest to date, I was amazed at how much the itty bitty Dometic can be forced to accommodate. We could store at least two weeks of food for two people in there - maybe more (realizing that we also carry dry and non-refrigerated packaged goods such as granola bars and fruit). The trick is to split it between freezer and fridge and eat it on schedule. I really don't want to eat any refrigerated item that is more than a week old, so everything to be eaten in the first week goes in the fridge. Everything to be eaten in the second week would go in the freezer - and it would actually hold it all if packed properly.

Yes, I would no doubt get to the point of needing to cook some of the carb portions of each main meal (rice, pasta, quinoa, potato, etc.) on the road, but some of that can be dealt with in the form of one-pot meals that already have those components in them. For instance, I make a mean chicken and asparagus quinoa (recipe morphed from this Whole Foods version) and that freezes very well as a whole meal.

I don't know if I will ever retire per se, so travel strategies are particularly important for us. My husband is a decade younger than I am which sounds really cool and progressive until the retirement ramifications are contemplated - he won't be eligible for Medicare until I am 75, maybe older. We are not wealthy, so he is going to remain full-time employed and we are going to be doing time-constrained travel for many, many years to come.
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Old 04-08-2016, 08:25 AM   #893
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We found one pot meals to be the best way to feed ourselves on the road out of a tiny kitchen and frig, too....and the less-carnivorous me still finds that to be a simple and nutritious way of meal preparation.

Someone ought to start a thread on one-dish meal recipes.


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Old 04-08-2016, 09:10 AM   #894
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We found one pot meals to be the best way to feed ourselves on the road out of a tiny kitchen and frig, too....and the less-carnivorous me still finds that to be a simple and nutritious way of meal preparation.

Someone ought to start a thread on one-dish meal recipes.


Maggie

Yes Maggie - one pot meals work very well. We use our slow cooker often. If used while driving we just put it in the sink so it doesn't tip over. Of course you then need one small enough to fit in the sink. Also slow cooker liner bags make cleanup easier.

I've also found that placing leftovers in zip lock plastic bags makes it easier to squeeze them in our little refrigerators.


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Old 04-08-2016, 09:48 AM   #895
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Small silicone bowls...squish-able in our small frig spaces...are also great for leftovers, then can go directly into your microwave.

I start every trip with my little freezer filled with leftovers and individual pieces of boneless chicken and pork, pre-frozen in vacuum sealer bags.....one of the best purchases of all time.

I have a one quart crockpot, the kind with the plastic lid, which has spent a number of afternoons preparing dinner while riding in the sink....plugged into an adapter on the dash, and container sauerkraut or baked beans with turkey kielbasa or beef hot dogs, etc. Works great.

Park, get set up....and dinner is ready, whether you have electricity or not.


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Old 04-08-2016, 05:44 PM   #896
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It'll be a few weeks before we can test the X-pot out. We have an induction cook stove in the condo instead of a gas cooktop & the AS is still at the dealer getting its roof repaired from our winter trip down to the Keys - ice coming off an overpass bridge was not kind to the roof. It took a month & a half and several insurance adjuster visits before the dealer got the ok for repairs.

As ex backpackers, we are attracted to the efficiency & compactness of backpacking gear. We'll just see how it does.
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